If someone asked me to name 5 artists to take to an island, princess niko would definetely be on my list. He's one of my favorite artists of all time and comes from norway. Bergen, norway to be more precise. I have never seen his face and the only image i have in my head is from the drawing you can see below (for some time i actually pictured that drawing singing the songs). The best description to his music is perfect timeless pop (it can be applied to all – or most – of his songs). He's been making music for a few years but has been a bit quiet for the last couple of years. But according to him, that's about to change, as you can read in our interview.
His songs go from guitar driven indie pop to more obscure tracks passing through uplifting electronic flirtations. You can hear 3 of his songs on a cloudberry records release or go to his urørt page ( a music platform for independent music in norway). There you'll find plenty of songs and – experience has taught me – clicking on 'last ned' will lead you to the download of the songs. It is impossible to name only a song or two as being their best. My favorite would be 'my sweet dragonteddy' but how can you not love 'let's play hide and seek'? Or 'drag me out'? Or 'dançando sozinho ao luar'? Or 'miss pixel and all her stupid daisies? or... honestly, i could go on...really really worth it...
01. since when princess niko makes music, and where his name came from?
i think it started in 2003/2004. i finally wrote a song (lakris sjø) that was exactly the kind of song i wanted to write. before that, i mostly wrote fragments, or improvised songs which weren't any good.
the name? i was looking for a name for some time, and after watching the disney film "the sword in the stone", i came up with it. nothing directly related. it was summer. i found the name fun and cool. but, i'm changing my project name now. i can no longer live with the princess niko name. so i'm changing it to something more grown up: "niko niko niko!".
02. do you get to live of music or have a real job?
unfortunately i have a real job (boring), but this will soon end. i only have a couple of days left to work now and then i'm free! i would love to live from my music, but I don't know if this could ever be possible. i would love to find out! i discovered that if i earned 15 times more than last year, on my music, i would be able to live from it.
o3. how's your creative process?
i usually start off with a riff, or start with wanting to make a certain kind of song. like, "oooh, i just heard a nirvana song and really feel like making this sort of song right now" - mostly these
04. whenever people ask me about the sound of princess niko i tell them to think about a perfect pop song. and - whether is a guitar riff, drum beat or keyboard arrangement - there's something very appealing and fresh in your melodies. tell us about your universe and your idea (or perception) of music.
thank you very much! difficult question, like everyone else i just try to make my music very catchy, cute/sad, dynamic, and interesting in any way i can. i have used a lot of time on music, even the last couple of years when i haven't released any songs on the internet. i'm very strict to my music with this, if i really like an idea, but don't feel it's perfect i'll keep working on it until the illusion of it being perfect appears, when all the flaws disappear.
05. one of the highlights of my musical collection is my princess niko library. a few years ago you sent me a link with (maybe) all of your songs. and there are songs that are incredibly catchy! do you think about releasing them in the future?
thank you so much again! and, yes! some of them i would like to release, but i would like to re-record them. it's very nice to be able to listen through old songs and feel that they still have something interesting in them after all these years. at the moment, i'm re-recording "i am super", "polycotton drama", and "lost becomes forever". it's very interesting to take a new approach to the songs and try to take the song to other places or the same place, but improved. not always easy though, as i experienced in the 6-8 months i used on trying to re-record "the broken paper-heart club". i made many different versions of this song, and none of them were good enough.
06. the last thing we heard from you were three songs that, if i remember well, were released one just after another. that happened more than a year ago. can we expect something in a near future? yes, you can expect things to happen very soon! i've been working on around 15 songs the last months. will be trying to see possibilities for first an ep release, and then later album release. i will also start rehearsing with my band, within the next month hopefully, so there's actually a lot going on right now. and, this i'm very happy about. i'm also take singing lessons, oh! i have the most wonderful and clever singing teacher!
07. what about your references (not only musical)... i'm sorry, i don't know what to answer here.
08. could you talk a bit about the scene in bergen? i mean, the first band i heard from there was tha april skies, then came you and later soda fountain rag... and some time after that, i discovered that you're all related and kinda make music together. i don't know too much of the music scene in my city.
09. any song you'd like to cover? no. not yet.
10.if you could give a place and hour to hear your songs, what would they be? this is such a difficult question. i have no idea. i only listen to my finished songs, maybe once every half year. to make myself feel better, to feel like my past years haven't been wasted musically. it would most probably be in the evening, alone. maybe together with a cigarette or two.
11. recommend something you've been listening lately... i recommend the first two manic street preachers albums, which i recently started listening to. i recommend the abba albums: abba - super trouper and abba - voulez vous. and i recommend joanna newsom's album "have one on me".
12. anything else you feel like saying? not much to say, other than i'm looking forward to finish my new songs.
download: my sweet dragonteddy
download: drag me out